Ethical Marketers Will Welcome Changes, Although Inconveniences Might Occur
Anyone who posts videos to YouTube will have noticed the recent requirement to mark if your channel and videos are “made for kids.” In an email to creators, YouTube announced on Monday what the new designation is all about:
“Last September, we announced a series of changes that we’d be making to better protect kids and their privacy on YouTube, and to address the concerns raised to us by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Specifically, that all creators would be required to designate their content as made for kids or not made for kids in YouTube Studio, and that personal information from anyone watching a video designated as made for kids would be treated as coming from a child, regardless of the age of the user.
Starting today, we will no longer serve personalized ads or support features such as comments, Stories, live chat, notification bell, and others on videos designated made for kids.
How Will These YouTube Changes Affect Your Marketing?
- If none of your videos are marked as “made for kids,” nothing will change with your marketing. You aren’t trying to reach kids, and any views you received from children didn’t help your marketing efforts.
- If one or two of your videos are “made for kids,” each video will be handled individually. It’s unclear how this will affect your channel.
- If you have several “made for kids” videos, your entire channel will be subject to the new policies.
Going forward, I recommend that most brands avoid producing any videos that are “made for kids.” The obvious exception is for brands that are kid-focused. I expect that YouTube will place more restrictions on those channels in the future. Any minor marketing benefit you might try to achieve would be overshadowed by needing to comply with new policies.
A Parent’s Perspective
As a parent, I’ve previously been wary of how YouTube served its kid-focused content on tablets, etc. Videos needed to be highly supervised by adults to prevent kids from experiencing age inappropriate ads, comments and other content.
I’m hopeful this change will be good for kids everywhere, allowing them to enjoy Baby Shark, Peppa Pig and Lego videos in a safe environment. Adults should still keep an eye on what kids are watching, though– we don’t yet know if these policy changes are enough.